Utah Pirates 13, Sonoma County Cardinals 9
Submitted by Randy Miles, Pirates manager
The Utah Pirates won back-to-back MSBL Las Vegas Open 50+ championships with a win over the Sonoma County Cardinals, 13-9.
Unlike 2021, the Pirates looked like they wouldn’t even make the playoffs this year, losing game one to the Mustangs Baseball Club, 20-5, and game two to the Sonoma County Cardinals, 12-0. We came out flat and faced some incredible pitching. But we managed to barely make the playoffs as the fifth and last seed.
Then we played the So Cal Bluejays in the first round. I believe we have only beaten the Bluejays once in our history against them. We were down 7-1 in the eighth and had a remarkable rally to win 10-9, one of the greatest comebacks we have ever been a part of. We then had a chance to avenge our loss against our rivals, the Mustangs. I saved some pitching that I thought would give us a chance. Jared Bills stepped up on the mound, pitching five innings for the win, while Brian Barnes pitched the final four. Our bats stayed hot and we remarkably held on to win 11 to 8.
Then we had a championship rematch versus Sonoma, who had just beaten Sacramento, 7-6 in 12 innings. We decided to use the same pitching strategy and started Jared Bills for five innings. We jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but Sonoma got their second wind and started to chip away. Brian Barnes pitched the 6th and 7th and then Neil Warner closed it out for the 13-9 victory. Jared Bills got his second win of the day. It was an amazing weekend going from worst to first against our biggest rivals.
Here are some of our playoff batting stats:
Randy Miles: 8-12
Clint Romero: 5-11
Jared Bills: 6-12
Rick Russellel: 6-12